Spores in Space: These Mushroom Trips Last Light-Years

Before Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin wrote Tuf Voyaging, the darkly comic tale of a solo space traveler zipping from planet to planet with his own unique brand of problem solving. His magic weapon? Mushrooms. As far-fetched as it sounds, fungi are the perfect long-distance travel companion. In the right environment, spores keep indefinitely and are small enough that you could pack an entire farm on a postage stamp. Looking toward to the future and our inevitable trek to the outer reaches of space, mushrooms might just be the ticket we need to get off the planet.

In fact, we’ve already given zero-gravity mushroom growing a shot. In 1993, cultures of Flammulina velutipes were sent into orbit on the joint Space Shuttle Columbia/Spacelab D-2 mission. As observed by amateur mycologists, mushrooms tend to grow as a veiled cap atop a long, spindly stem. Remove gravity from the equation, however, and the mushrooms grow in every direction. Gills flipped inside-out like windblown umbrellas, and mushrooms fruited in every orientation imaginable. The results were promising. The mushrooms grew unexpectedly, yet still produced fruit under off-world conditions. Though the experiment lasted just long enough to make these observations, we’ll need to push our fungal gardening experiments further if we aim to observe how zero gravity affects mushroom growth.

Fungi tech here on Earth has grown by leaps and bounds in the past couple decades. Mycoprotein is a vegetarian meat substitute, originally developed to combat food shortages, made from Mycelium—not the fruit, but the tiny white strands that act as a sort of root for mushrooms. Nutritious protein as a blank canvas. For now, you can find it amongst the faux meats in your grocer’s freezers, formed and flavored into shapes like bacon, burgers and chicken-less nuggets.

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The Weekend Box: Aiming to Enhance Your Vegas Cannabis Experience

The first four days of recreational cannabis sales in Nevada generated more than $3 million in revenue.

In Las Vegas, some waited in line for hours to make a purchase, illustrating that Sin City’s cannabis industry has some adjustments to make if they want to swiftly accommodate their already robust medical market, or the more than 40 million visitors who frequent the city each year.

“Even if just 5% of those tourists want to visit a dispensary, the lines will be out the door and around the block,” said Krista Whitley, a Las Vegas-based serial entrepreneur and cannabis activist.

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Could Cannabis Tourism Save Puerto Rico’s Economy?

Puerto Rico is drowning in a sea of debt more than $74 billion deep, and many on the Caribbean island see legal cannabis as a potential lifeline.

The sunny Caribbean island of Puerto Rico is facing some dark financial times: Large companies fled the island for friendlier tax laws, creating a deficit that the resource-rich, industry-poor territory has been unable to fill. Puerto Ricans — about 45 percent of whom live at or below the poverty line — are following suit: The island’s population has fallen by 400,000 people, to 3.4 million, in no small part because unemployment here (12 percent) is almost triple what it is back in the full-fledged USA (4.3 percent).

Above all, Puerto Rico is more than $74 billion in debt to creditors it cannot pay and has $50 billion in pension obligations it cannot fulfill. There are assertions that up to half of the debt is “illegal” — the result of toxic Wall Street tricks of the kind that engineered the Great Recession — but the weight of the financial obligation remains.

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Utah Begins Another Push at Expanding Medical Cannabis

Utah already has a CBD-only law on the books, but activists in the state are working to expand the medical marijuana program to provide medicine for patients in need.

Organizers of Utah’s next effort to make medical cannabis a reality have been given the green light to start the signature gathering drive that will put the issue on the 2018 ballot.

Utah Patients Coalition got word from Lt. Governor Spencer Cox this week that they may start to collect the signatures required to qualify for the November 2018 ballot. Organizers put a lot of effort into producing a ballot initiative that was palatable to both lawmakers and the public with numerous hearings across the state. Now the work to collect the 113,000 signatures needed to make things a reality next year begins.

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THE UNCLE WE ALL WISH WE HAD: Interview with Nevada Senator Tick Segerblom

Nevada’s Senator Richard Segerblom, or Tick for short (because “Tick is better than Dick” according to him), is a fourth generation public servant for the state of Nevada, and huge advocate for the legalization and normalization of cannabis. Largely due to his efforts, the state of Nevada is now added to the list of states that have legalized recreational marijuana, so we sat down with Tick and talked about everything from his days of smoking in the White House to his love for our DOPEN while streaming live on Facebook. We even had our live viewers jump in for some questions direct from YOU!

DOPE Magazine: You are a fourth generation Nevada public servant, your great grandfather, your grandmother, your mother and now you. Did you always know you wanted to follow in those footsteps?

Senator Tick Segerblom: I think it was assumed that I would eventually run to keep the tradition going but it kinda happened randomly as far as the time of my life. I was hoping to do it later in life but a seat became available where I live and I took the opportunity. It’s one of those things where we’re very smalltime legislature so it’s not like we’re running for governor or something. It’s a neat thing to have in your family and I thought I would carry on the tradition.

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Police Departments Telling K9 Units to ‘Sit and Stay’

What happens to K9 cops when cannabis is decriminalized? For the most part, not much — departments aren’t planning to part with drug dogs any time soon.

Humans of the 21st century think highly of our pets — almost as highly as we think of ourselves. So now that drug-policy reform is swelling government budgets and thinning prisons, some people are asking, “won’t someone think of the drug-sniffing dogs?”

Colorado Public Radio is the latest to examine the question of what to do with K9 units in an era of drug-policy reform. Marijuana is legal in Colorado, CPR points out, so what’s the use of a dog trained to suss out marijuana?

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Cannabis for the Clinic

Nurses and healthcare professionals are learning more about how marijuana works as a medicine through the ACNA.

While not yet available at the corner drugstore, medical cannabis has definitely become a part of mainstream culture in the U.S. Everyone, it seems, knows about the plant’s medical uses and most of the population supports medical access.

At this point, so many states have decriminalized to some degree that it’s easier to just list the states that don’t have some kind of a medical cannabis law — North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Indiana, West Virginia, Texas and Idaho — than it is to list all of the states that do.

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Video Killed the Sports Star? What Pro Sports Can Learn From Action Sports

After attempting to kill any and everything from napkins to wine corks to sex, Millennials—the oft-criticized generation born between the early 1980s to 2000—have their sights set on a new target: sports. Once known for being impervious to the drop in TV ratings, sports have seen a decline in viewership and attendance while the median age of fans continues to rise. Sports media behemoths such as ESPN, Fox Sports and Sports Illustrated have all recently dealt with massive layoffs and downsizing due to the changing climate of the market.

According to a Magna Global Study, the median age for NFL and MLB fans are 50 and 57, respectively. And while the action sports crowd has gotten older, their median age is still 47—a decade younger than that of baseball’s crowd. In fact, action sports are the fourth most-watched sport by the prized 18-to-35 demographic.

And the future of sports has never been murkier than it is today, thanks—in part—to those blasted millennials who aren’t watching sports at the same rate as their elders. Millennials might not be the only reason that sports are on the decline, but the Big 4—NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL—can learn a lot from their tendencies, and how action sports cater to the ever-important youths.

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ROYAL CHEESE SHATTER: Can I Get Some Extra Cheese?!

Royal Cheese is an indica-dominant hybrid that hails from the UK. Originally bred from Skunk #1 and crossed with a feminized phenotype of itself, this silken extract stays true to its royal bloodline. The sweet smells of a corner bakery fill my nose as I peel back the wax paper to reveal a golden, glistening slice of pure heaven. I portion off a healthy helping of amber Swiss as my rig hits its low-setting and I take an easy pull.

Exhaling, I am carried away to a tropical paradise. A plethora of flavor cascades over my palate like an exquisite waterfall; distinct notes of juicy mango and frosted lychee berry swim alongside exotic grapes dripping with creamy honey. The taste finishes on a pungently earthy note, complementing the initial sweetness.

Moments later I feel a powerful euphoria grip my muscles, the sensation building like lapping waves over cerebral shores. The feeling sinks deep into my body, soaking my mind in relief, banishing all stress and anxiety. Despite inspiring a strong appetite, this noble strain had me feeling regal, even hours later. Recommended for any concentrate connoisseur seeking the royal treatment.

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Testing Company: Ohio College Ready to Host Pot Testing Lab

A recent announcement by a company eager to offer testing services to Ohio’s emerging medical cannabis market claims it has found a state-approved public college to host the lab, as per the requirements of the state’s MMJ law. At present, the identity of the college and any details about the arrangement are still a mystery.

CCV Research, a  company looking to provide testing services to Ohio’s medical cannabis market, announced it has received a letter of intent from an Ohio public institution of higher education ready to partner with the company in operating a medical cannabis testing lab.

The announcement said the governor’s office has confirmed that the (as-of-yet unidentified) academic partner is qualified under state law to host the lab.

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